Calls to Burn the Broadcast Flag

Public-interest groups rally against digital television recording restrictions.

The Federal Communications Commission in November 2003 said that starting in July 2005, all digital video-recording devices recognize a "broadcast flag" encoded in the digital television stream. Recorders must then encode a flagged program so it cannot be shared from machine to machine or over the Internet. The American Library Association, Public Knowledge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other public-interest groups asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last week to stipulate that the FCC has no right to impose content controls on equipment manufacturers or to restrict copying of copyright materials.

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